BKT: a niche player in off-highway tires marketAccording to Arvind Poddar, Chairman and Managing Director, BKT, the company has been able to successfully identify these opportunities and create an industry out of it. The other tire companies are following suit now after witnessing the success of BKT.
BKT is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of off-highway tires having the widest product range, strengthened by more than 2100 SKU’s (Stock Keeping Units). Established in 1988, Balkrishna Industries (BKT), entered into the production of cross ply off-highway tires in 1995. BKT has made its mark in the speciality segments like agricultural, construction, industrial, earthmover, port, ATV (all terrain vehicle) and turf care applications in both cross ply and radial construction.
Global reachToday BKT is a global player and enjoys a strong presence in 130 countries and over along with India. The company has products from 5-inch rim diameter to 54-inch rim diameter for vehicles ranging from Go-cart, trailers, forklifts etc. to technologically advanced machines like high horsepower tractors, combines, harvesters, GPS-controlled vehicles, articulated dump trucks, high-speed cranes, sophisticated port vehicles and container handlers etc.
Pioneering in all-steel radial OTR tiresBKT has ventured into the production of all-steel radials since 2008. BKT is one of the first tire companies in India to produce the all-steel radial OTR tires. An all-steel radial plant in Chopanki, Rajasthan is now functioning on full throttle, producing top of the line radial tires for OTR vehicles, ranging from rigid dump trucks to snow manoeuvring vehicles.
The tires under all-steel radials segment range from a 20-inch diameter tipper truck size to a giant 51-inch rigid dump truck size in both radial and bias make, thus covering clients’ every requirement for industrial use as well as mining.
Recently, BKT has launched an ultra advanced range of tires, especially for high-speed cranes. The tire 445/95 R25 enables heavy high-speed cranes to journey at an unprecedented speed of 80 kms per hour. BKT also plans to unveil a more enviable, capable range of sizes for OTR solutions soon.
New solutions for new worldBKT is at the forefront when it comes to new product development. BKT develops about 150-160 new SKUs every year in response to the ever-changing requirements of their consumers. The company has its own mould plant which enables them to have the fastest turnaround time.
Focus on Indian marketIndia over the past decade has emerged as one of the most competent tire markets in the world, essentially due to the availability of raw materials (natural rubber) and increasing use of modern machineries and technologies. Today the Indian automobile market is valued at about $ 58 billion. Over 39 tire manufacturing companies with 60 production plants have made India one of the largest markets for all kinds of tires. All these factors have resulted in opening enormous prospects for exports for India. Then there is the niche off-highway segment and OEM solutions.
According to Arvind Poddar, Chairman and Managing Director, BKT, the company has been able to successfully identify these opportunities and create an industry out of it. The other tire companies are following suit now after witnessing the success of BKT. As for BKT, the company is once again ready to venture forth into a budding frontier, supplying expansive and a varied range of solutions for mining and industrial needs of emerging India.
Bhuj plant: a greenfield projectThe manufacturing plant in Bhuj, Gujarat is the 4th manufacturing unit set up by BKT in India. BKT has invested over $375 million in this plant which will enhance BKT’s total capacity by 75-80 per cent. For BKT, Bhuj plant means an extraordinary increase in production which will add about 120,000 tonnes per year along with its 180,000 tonnes obtained from the other three plants.
“There are plans being made to modify the Bhuj plant and extend its production capacity to the level of 280,000 tonnes,” says Rajiv Poddar, Executive Director, BKT.
This is a green-field project and will focus on developing a wide range of BKT’s radial and bias tires. “This facility will also produce ultra large and giant OTR tires up to 51-inch rim diameter,” adds Dilip Vaidya, President and Director – Technology, BKT.